General agreement on trade in services (GATS)

Transportation services

What is in the Agreement?

Air services, like all other traded services, are covered by the GATS, but the Agreement applies at present to only a limited set of activities: aircraft repair and maintenance, marketing and sales, and computer reservations systems. Other elements of air transport, such as traffic rights and ground handling, will continue to be governed by the Chicago Convention and the current system of bilateral air agreements. There will be a review within five years.

Maritime transport services were the subject of lengthy negotiations. Limited market access commitments were made by some countries. There will be further negotiations up to June 1996 among the key shipping countries on deep-sea shipping, auxiliary services and access to and use of port-and-beyond services.

Limited market access commitments were made on land transport.

Benefits for Canada

The further negotiations on maritime transport offer Canadian shippers the prospect of access to more efficient, less discriminatory international transport arrangements.

Commonly asked questions

What about the effect on the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)?

There are no conflicts with these agreements.

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